PSA: Appendix Update + Symptoms

Well, it’s been a week since Honey carted me off to the ER and I came home one organ lighter.  Up until yesterday, the days were kind of hazy.  I have an extremely low threshold for pain, and I’m a lightweight when it comes to meds.  Mother was going to head home today, but last night I had a real breakdown and she stayed, saying that she knew it was too soon to leave.  I was scared of the week ahead and knew I hadn’t made any progress in getting up and moving and trying to do anything for myself.  I let myself be completely taken care of, which is a first.  Ever.  Even when I brought my babies home and she was here to help, I still did for myself and others.  But this was entirely different.

So, knowing that I have her for a couple more days, I got up yesterday motivated to make progress.  (Well, that and the fact that a sweet reader nurse gave me a little kick in the you-know-what that I should be walking further than to the kitchen for my best recovery.)  I showered, put on real clothes and sat at the table like a human.  I traded my heavy  meds for ibuprofen and had a clear head…finally.  My appetite came back a little too.  Mother was heading out to run a few errands and I went with her.  We picked up one thing in Michael’s and walked.  It really wasn’t bad and it felt so good to be out of my house.  We had a few things to get at Target and I ended up riding the rascal.  And, she insisted that she needed to do something to my pots outside so I wrapped up our day walking through the garden center at Home Depot.  She is bound and determined to return me to world of the living!  The sweet reward at the end of our trip?  An orange cream soda and sour gummy worms, of course!

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I also wanted to say how relieved I am that Honey essentially threw me in the car to go to the ER.  I was insisting that I had a stomach bug, even though all logic was saying otherwise.  I actually looked up the symptoms of appendicitis when I started feeling bad and some of mine were similar, but not all.  And, in my opinion, it’s hard to differentiate between the two.  In hopes that it could possibly help someone else out there, these were my symptoms:

– cramping in belly all day – it started after my morning walk but was just a slight discomfort for most of the day

– loss of appetite – I really wasn’t hungry all day.  I ate no breakfast other than coffee and choked down a few bites at lunch.  I didn’t feel bad, I just wasn’t hungry.  This was unusual.

– cramping sharpest on right side but I still felt it all over; don’t be fooled by things you read that say it will just be on the right side – this came on late afternoon into the early evening.  This is the point when I knew something was up.

– nausea – I felt mildly nauseous in the afternoon, but not enough to think I might throw up

In the early evening, things dramatically changed over the course of just two hours:

– cramping became more intense; I still felt it all over, but it remained sharpest on the right side.  Honestly, it hurt so much it was hard to really tell where it was coming from.

– nausea increased to the point where I did need to throw up

– vomiting – every time stood up I threw up; the difference from a stomach but was that there was absolutely NO relief even for one minute after throwing up

– hard to urinate – I felt like I needed to go, but had to really work to squeeze it out (sorry, tmi)

– felt constipated but couldn’t pass any gas and couldn’t make myself go; this was another thing that made it different from the typical stomach but

– very hard to talk – it was a real effort and felt exhausting

– low grade fever of 99.1

All in all, things progressed very quickly over the course of just ONE day.  My best advice would be when in doubt, get yourself to the ER.  

The ER doctor’s first look at me made him think appendix or kidney stones.  A blood test confirmed my white blood cell count was high.  A CT scan showed a very enlarged appendix.  And, as for the rest of the week, I have sufficiently bored y’all with all those details already.

I have my follow up appointment later this week, but am trying to keep my expectations in check.  Honey keeps reminding me that the surgeon said to give myself two good weeks to be really up and moving and not completely exhausted, and four to six weeks to return to my prior level of activity.  That sounds like foreeevvvah….. I just told Mother that I can’t find my fit bit and she looked at me like I had three heads.

I can’t say this enough, but I am so grateful to have had Mother here with me this week.  And for Honey taking care of everything for the littles.  And for all the friends and neighbors that have brought dinners and flowers and treats.  And for you, sweet readers, that have prayed and emailed and commented.  I have felt more loved than ever this past week.

xoxo
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21 thoughts on “PSA: Appendix Update + Symptoms

  1. Here’s to a speedy recovery Amanda!

    Thank you for taking the time to tell about the symptoms you had, it may really help someone someday! I remember when I was a young girl, a doctor came to our home because my brother was ill. The next thing I knew, an ambulance came and took him to the hospital. I remember being so scared. Afterwards we were told that his appendix was so bad, that had he not been taking to the hospital to have his appendix removed, it would have ruptured and he could have died!

    It amazing how such small things like, taking a shower and getting dressed, go such a long way in making us feel human again. Let Mother and others take care of you for now! It’s the best thing you can do for yourself as you heal :-)

  2. Get well soon. PSA- I’ve noticed you always spell “advice” wrong. “Advise” is a different word. Don’t be mad – just telling you this for your own good. :) xoxo

    1. Not mad at all! I’m so bad at spelling and rely on spell check. Of course, it doesn’t catch things like this :-) Mother is on me all.the.time about my blog posts :-)

  3. I am happy to read that you are getting around more. I am sure it must be hard but you are so lucky to have family and friends to help. Your husband was very smart to take you to the ER. A friend’s son was away at college when he had symptoms but he tried to tough it out. His appendix ended up rupturing, he had emergency surgery and was in bad shape for a few days. Very scary. I figure it’s better to be safe than sorry…of course I am a bit of a hypochondriac but I think when your body is trying to tell you something, you should listen. Rest up and enjoy the pampering!
    Shelley

  4. When first reading about this last weekend I immediately thought kidney stones. It is the WORST pain I’ve ever had including 2 c-sections. And my PSA – just because the pain is “usually” in the back – it can. & usually does feel like every single symptom you described.

    I am so glad Honey insisted on getting you to the ER – and that you will make a full recovery. It takes a long time to fully recover, and working toward it is necessary – but it’s equally necessary to take the time that is suggested.

    Glad you’re up & going but that you still have the very best care. You will be back to yourself in no time! xoxo

  5. Amanda I’m so happy to see you are feeling better and that your mom was able to stay with you a little longer.
    After reading about your appendix venture, I am so thankful when I had mine removed it was a laparoscopic appendectomy. I was a little sore but no real pain. I had surgery on Friday and drove on Monday. However, before the surgery I was in tremendous pain and throwing up constantly.
    get better soon!

  6. So glad Honey got you to the ER in time!! Hope you continue to feel better every day and so happy your precious mom is there to help out. Hugs,Elaine

  7. Glad you still have mother with you. Take it slow. I remember one time when one of the girls had terrible “stomach” pain, a nurse at CHOA’s health line told me to have her jump up and down. If that made it worse, I was to bring her immediately to the hospital as that could be a sign it was her appendix.

  8. Hang in there girl! I am just over 2 weeks since my surgery and I am finally feeling half way normal! Everyday you should be feeling a little better and if you don’t and have concerns call your Doc. So glad your mom could be there for you! It makes ALL the difference in the world! I love my husband so but when you’re sick or recovering all you want is your mom!

  9. What an ordeal! Glad Honey took you to the ER, I can’t imagine enduring that as long as you did. Hope you continue to feel better.

  10. What I learned from this post. How to tell if I have an appendix rupture and that Starbucks has orange cream soda. I mean what? I never knew this. You teach me so many good things even when you are laid up on the couch doing your best Scarlett O’Hara impression. :) xoxo

  11. Hope you get all better soonest…Thank you for publishing your symptoms! So wonderful that your Mom can help –
    -linda, ny

  12. Mothers are the best medicine. Great that your Mother is with you and your family. May each day be a better day.

    Smiles

  13. When my daughter was 12 (she’s now 29) she had a mis-diagnosed ruptured appendix! We had taken her to the doctor 4 times and a simple blood test was NEVER taken! She ended up with a huge scar and a 2 week hospital stay, and home schooled for 8 weeks. One of the worse times in my life! :-(

  14. when I finally had a blood count that indicated the pain and agony was indeed appendix related the surgery took so much longer due to the heavy scarring from all the near ruptures so it is good that you published the symptoms

  15. I am so glad a nurse took the time to write and tell you to get moving. As a nurse I sometimes think we send surgery patients home much too soon these days. Insurance insists on it and will not pay after a day or two unless there are complications. As a result the patient goes home without the nurse having a chance to get the patient up and walking three or four times a day. One of the most frightening complications of surgery is blood clots. The chance of this is diminished if you are up and walking. Another reason to walk is that it helps move the gas on out. Much of the pain after an operation is actually the gas in your belly. Walking will also help with the constipation that the pain pills create. So I am delighted that you are moving and walking now!
    And your blog is one of the happy places I go after a rough day at the hospital! Thanks for sharing your life with me on your blog!

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